Michael Kappeler / picture alliance / Getty Images
Neeraj Chopra’s throw to 87.58m earned him gold in the javelin at Tokyo 2020.
“Amazing” is how Neeraj Chopra described his victory in the men’s javelin on Saturday as he became the first Indian athlete to win an Olympic gold in track and field.
Chopra’s throw at 87.58m secured the top spot on the podium, as India also won its first gold at Tokyo 2020.
“In athletics this is the first time we have held gold so it is a proud moment for me and my country,” Chopra, 23, told reporters.
“In the qualifying round I pitched really well so I knew I could do better in the final. I didn’t know it would be gold but I’m very happy, ”he added.
His gold medal completes a remarkable journey for Chopra that began when he decided to lose weight.
“I come from a farming background,” Chopra explained. “I was overweight and wanted to do some physical training.
“Somehow I ended up in an academy and learned the javelin throw. The love story has started and now I am here with this medal in front of you.
Czechs Jakub Vadlejch and Vitezslav Vesely won silver and bronze respectively.
India won seven medals in total at Tokyo 2020 – one gold, two silver and four bronze.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, General Secretary of the Indian opposition party, Indian National Congress, congratulated Chopra on Twitter: “What an outstanding performance. History has been made. India is so proud of you.
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